This article was published on January 5th, 2021
President-Elect Joe Biden, who has vowed to assemble an inclusive Cabinet under his administration, has proven true to his word thus far with the announcement that one of his former rivals for the Democratic nomination, Pete Buttigieg, will now serve as the Secretary of Transportation come January 20th, 2021. The role is a critical one as the nation struggles with infrastructure problems that have lingered since the Bush administration Buttigieg is expected to assist in President Biden’s plans to restore and repair the nation’s roads and bridges that have been left in despair.
Buttigieg, an out-and-proud, openly gay, military veteran, was previously best known in politics for his two terms as the mayor of South Bend from 2012 to 2020. He became a household name last year, however, during the elections, Buttigieg – at only 38 years old – proved to be a fierce opponent against Biden during the primary season, winning over moderate Democrats and coming close to securing the nomination outright before finally conceding to the Biden campaign. Through his social media, Buttigieg responded to the news of his appointment:
“This is a moment of tremendous opportunity—to create jobs, meet the climate challenge, and enhance equity for all. I’m honored that the President-elect has asked me to serve our nation as Secretary of Transportation.”
President-Elect Biden has been a vocal supporter of providing climate-friendly infrastructure projects that will assist in bringing America back from the brink of the global pandemic as well as creating thousands of jobs to help end the current recession. Biden, for his part, has singled out Buttigieg as a formidable leader for his generation and welcomed him to his administration with a statement:
“Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a patriot and a problem-solver who speaks to the best of who we are as a nation. I am nominating him for Secretary of Transportation because this position stands at the nexus of so many of the interlocking challenges and opportunities ahead of us. Jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate all come together at the DOT, the site of some of our most ambitious plans to build back better. I trust Mayor Pete to lead this work with focus, decency, and a bold vision — he will bring people together to get big things done.”
Current proposals under the Biden administration include a $2 trillion dollar plan to address climate control and provide clean energy. The comprehensive plan includes additional general investments for roads and bridges, and other specific proposals like providing every U.S. city with 100,000 or more residents with high-quality, zero-emissions public transportation options.
Buttigieg has already proven he can perform these duties on a small scale as he embarked on extensive urban development and economic revitalization projects in South Bend, and the hopes are that he can do the same with the entire country to revive the American infrastructure.